Charlie Meadows

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed a ban on minimum wage increases this Monday. Defending her remarkable decision, Fallin issued a press release that indulges all the usual thoroughly-debunked talking points, including the long-discredited notion that only teenagers have minimum wage jobs.

“Mandating an increase in the minimum wage would require businesses to fire many of those part-time workers. It would create a hardship for small business owners, stifle job creation and increase costs for consumers,” Fallin said. “And it would do all of these things without even addressing the goal of reducing poverty.”

According to a February report by the Congressional Budget Office, raising the minimum wage from its current level of $7.25 to $10.10, while indexing future increases to inflation, would boost collective earnings by $31 billion for 33 million low-wage workers and lift an estimated 900,000 people out of poverty.

In reality, most minimum wage workers are adults who work for America’s largest corporations. But the reality of the minimum wage is not a concern for Governor Fallin. Her only concern is the political reality that Oklahoma is overrun with John Birchers. As we told you more than two months ago, the most powerful conservative organizing force in the state is actually a Bircher organization. OCPAC’s Founder and President Charlie Meadows has been a prominent member of the JBS for decades. So as soon as we read about Fallin signing the minimum wage ban, we decided to catch up with the OCPAC gmail group — and right away, we found what we were looking for: a conspiracy theory about the minimum wage as a sinister communist plot.


Some of the local Union thugs along with their bottom feeding attorney, at least that is my opinion of the bunch, filed a petition this past week seeking to have OKC establish a minimum wage of $10.10 cents an hour for businesses located in the city.

I believe leftists who propose such ideas are little more than devious panderers seeking a seat of power, wealth and political control. No city councilman or mayor with half a brain or conservative bone in their body would ever support such a foolish idea, so the petition seeks to bring the issue to a vote of the people.

Like the effort to float bonds to put storm shelters in every school and have the state pay for it rather than leave the decision to local school boards, this is just one more offensive maneuver by the left to put conservatives on the defensive.

Raising the minimum wage never, let me repeat, never, improves the lives of those making minimum wage. When minimum wage employees get an artificially induced increase in wages, prices of everything they need to purchase to live on or play on also increase at pretty much a proportional amount.

Such a law increases the overhead of any business paying minimum wage. Restaurant workers must be paid more, so the price of meals increase. Grocery store workers must be paid more so groceries increase in price. Janitors and hotel/motel workers must be paid more so motel rooms go up. Businesses must pay more for janitor services and thus raise their prices or discontinue those services and have their production employees also pick up janitorial duties, thus jobs are lost. Contractors must pay their common labor people more, so the cost of building a home, road or bridge goes up and with all these price increases, employees making above minimum wage also begin to clamor for higher salaries to make up for the artificially inflated prices of everything they must purchase.

Of course the un-intended consequences begin to really kick in. If successful, many items produced in OKC would cost more to produce, thus making those items less competitive with the same items produced in other parts of the state, nation or even more serious, in the global marketplace. The fruit of such a foolish decision would be some of the businesses relocating to other places, maybe even out of state? Jobs will be lost and more people will suffer.

So who actually benefits from such a foolish idea? Democrats and union bosses as they take advantage of the economically naïve, and the class envy crowd. They portray themselves as compassionate and caring. Union bosses, portraying themselves as the saviors from the “greedy” business owners, you know the “1 percenters”, try to use their support for a minimum wage increase as reason for employees to see them as valuable and to organize a union at their work places.

With all that said, there is another hideous beneficiary of an increase in the minimum wage and that is government coffers at most levels. Higher wages means higher federal taxes, higher state taxes and more money to spend on higher prices means more sales taxes for cities and counties. Of course the cost of government also goes up so the end result is fairly much a wash, but at higher prices or in other words a jump in inflation.

Who is the biggest loser in this whole situation? The elderly, the retired and anyone living on a fixed income. Also, those young folks needing an entry level job to begin to learn a good work ethic or people with minimum capabilities to offer a business owner when and if they lose their jobs. It is a bad idea, but, by only needing 6,000 valid signatures and having plenty of union members to gather signatures or plenty of union dollars to pay the street people to do so, it will very likely soon be going to a vote of the people. If it passes in OKC, the same effort will be coming to other areas in the state.

This is another manifestation of the institutional inflation hysteria that Paul Krugman has ridiculed for years: if the poorest workers have a little more to spend, somehow everyone’s cost of living will magically skyrocket. Nothing that Charlie Meadows just said is backed up by any empirical facts, though. Peer-reviewed economists have never been able to prove a link between minimum wage increases and unemployment rate increases or inflation. In fact, the opposite is true: many studies have found that the economy as a whole does better when the minimum wage goes up (example here), and we would challenge Mr. Meadows to try living on minimum wage himself before he blithely asserts that an increase will not improve workers’ lives.

But you may have noticed, as we did, that Meadows conflates the minimum wage issue with storm shelters. Let us repeat that bit:

Like the effort to float bonds to put storm shelters in every school and have the state pay for it rather than leave the decision to local school boards, this is just one more offensive maneuver by the left to put conservatives on the defensive.

Never mind that a tornado destroyed Moore, Oklahoma last May, killing seven children, or that the two schools it hit were not equipped with storm shelters. What is really important, at least to Charlie Meadows, is that taxpayers should not be forced to build storm shelters in “Tornado Alley.” Sure, storms are more powerful than ever because of climate change, but Meadows also says that climate science is a communist conspiracy — which tells you just how unscientific his ideas about storm shelters are.


Thankfully it looks like the petition drive to collect 160,000 valid signatures to call for a statewide vote to provide tornado shelters in every school building in the state is going to fall way short of the necessary numbers to bring it to a vote of the people. Am I against children being safe? Of course not, but I am also not in favor of an irrational attempt to burden state government, and thus the taxpayers of the state, to the tune of $500,000,000.00 million dollars to try and eliminate all risks in life, something that is not possible anyway.

Stay with me as I try to break this down. First, it is understandable that the parents who lost those 7 children in the tornado that tore through the Moore public schools are motivated by raw emotions. However, similar emotions have been the impetus for many bad laws throughout our nation’s history.

Second, I call to question the motives of Representative Doorman and perhaps others as to whether they are well motivated in their efforts or more interested in forcing a tax increase, preserving the current tax burden, or simply trying to embarrass Republicans in state government?

Any measure Meadows dislikes is a conspiracy to make Republicans look bad. It is simply not possible for any Democrat or liberal to be motivated by science, or dead schoolchildren, or basic fairness, or economic fact rather than pseudo-scientific right wing theology. Asking taxpayers to spend as much on school tornado shelters as they spend on, say, two F-35 Joint Strike Fighters is a bridge too far and a subtle attack on Republicans. Like most Republicans in Oklahoma, Meadows is aggressively pro-life until babies are born. Once out of the womb, Meadows would rather see children blown away by funnel clouds and forced to work for slave wages than let a single penny slip from his clenched fingers. And as we can see from Fallin’s example, Meadows basically tells Republicans in his state what to think about these issues.